The most common species of mold is called Stachybotrys Chartarum
These molds flourishes in warm and moist environments, especially, showers, toilets, kitchens, and basements, or even inside a home walls.
Mold grows more in humid climates, some are at risk by these toxins if using a humidifier indoors. Mold can also grow on wood, paper and dirt.
Most black molds are toxigenic, meaning that they release toxins that can be disturbing or even harmful for most people who have preexisting conditions.
These Species include:
- Penicillium: allergenic mold, green or blue, has a musty smell, and often found near water damage
- Aspergillus: allergenic mold that can become more toxic, depending on species and environment, yellow-green in color, often found in extremely damp areas, certain species are capable of producing aflatoxins
- Cladosporium: allergenic mold, olive green or brown, can grow in warm or cold conditions, common outdoor mold, but often found on indoor material such as fabrics, carpets, and upholsteries
- Alternaria: allergenic mold, dark green or brown in color, fuzzy texture, often found in showers, bathtubs, under sinks, and on window frames
- Stachybotrys (a.k.a. black mold): toxigenic mold, green or black with a slimy texture, known for growing on cellulose material (wood, cardboard, paper, hay, wicker), distinctive musty odor, very toxic to humans. Stachybotrys produces trichothecene — a potent mycotoxin that can make people very sick.
What is Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of mold. Mold that can produce mycotoxins grow on a number of foods such as cereals, dried fruits, nuts and spices. Mold growth can occur either before harvest or after harvest, during storage, on/in the food itself often under warm, damp and humid conditions. Most mycotoxins are chemically stable and survive food processing.
Now even if you can’t see it or smell it, there’s a good chance that mold is lingering somewhere in your home or living area. Studies show that more than 50% of homes and more than 85% of commercial buildings in the U.S. have water damage and mold.
Many studies show that every home has some detectable amount of mold.
Unfortunately, being exposed to mold can be destructive to your health. Symptoms can range from mild disruption to life-threatening symptoms.
Even the healthiest people can develop symptoms from longtime exposure. The biotoxin illness response and the allergy response are two distinct responses to mold. You can not be allergic and still become highly inflamed from biotoxin illness; or could have mold allergy and not develop a biotoxin illness.
People can be tested for the HLA-DR gene, and if you suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme, or another fatigue-related chronic illness, you may want to consider it. Mycotoxins worsen immune dysfunction associated with chronic disease and inhibit healing processes in the body.
What are Symptoms of Mold Exposure?
Not all symptoms are respiratory related, Mycotoxins can produce numerous symptoms, including:
- Heightened sensitivity to chemicals and foods
- Irregular heartbeat
- Joint pain and/or muscle pain
- Mood swings
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced color distinction
- Skin rashes
- Sleep problems
- Slower reaction time
- Vision changes
- Chronic burning in the throat and nasal passages
- Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
- Loss of balance
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Eye irritation
- Hearing loss
How can Mold be Removed from your home?
- Inspect crawl spaces and use a dehumidifier, if necessary. Have any visual evidence of mold removed by a professional.
- Make sure attics are dry, and moisture is not being vented into the attic.
- Have heating and air conditioning systems checked for mold and cleaned.
- Make sure carpets are not damp or growing mold. Replace carpet with wood or cork if possible.
- If you have removed all visible mold and the smell of mold is still present or testing is still positive, the mold may be embedded in drywall, inside walls, in crawl spaces, or in attics. In this case, the only recourse is removing the drywall and insulation completely and replacing it with mold resistant drywall and insulation. Again, this should be done by professionals. DIY projects can cause severe exacerbation of symptoms in a sensitive individual.
- Temporary measures for reducing mold spores and mycotoxins in the air include placing HEPA filters in rooms where mold is present, ozone treatment (done when the building is unoccupied), or diffusion of essential oils into the air, but these measures will not eradicate mold.
It’s best to hire a professional to remove mold from your home rather than trying to do it yourself, which could worsen your symptoms if you’re sensitive to mold.
How to Eliminate Mold From Your Body?
With a healthful diet and eradication of mold from your environment, mycotoxins can gradually and naturally be removed from your system.
- Antifungal medications. The best approach to clearing nasal passages and sinuses is nasal washes with antifungal medications. Natural solutions include xylitol nasal wash and allicin (from garlic) liquid wash. Nasal steroids may also be necessary to reduce inflammation, but they will not cure the problem. In some cases, it’s valuable to do cultures to distinguish between a bacterial and a fungal problem. Antibiotics alone can make the situation worse.
- Far infrared (FIR) sauna. Spending time in the sauna each day can help rid the body of mycotoxins through sweat.
- Binders. Dietary fiber and chlorella — a freshwater green algae that’s rich in detoxifying chlorophyll — can help bind to and remove mycotoxins from the body. A healthy diet high in vegetables is generally sufficient in dietary fiber, but natural fiber supplements (usually containing apple pectin and other forms of fiber) are crucial. Note that fiber supplements, however, may cause digestive discomfort in some people.
- Restricting processed carbohydrates and sugars. Candida is a yeast — which is a fungus, not a mold — that is ubiquitously present in the human intestinal tract. Low levels of yeast are generally not a problem unless immune dysfunction and imbalance in gut flora are present. In this case, overgrowth of yeast can occur. Yeast overgrowth produces a mycotoxin, which can cause systemic symptoms.
- Herbal teas. Studies have shown that the antioxidant polyphenols in certain teas can help reverse oxidative damage caused by mycotoxins. These include rooibos, honeybush, green, and black teas. Adding them to your diet may help boost recovery.
- Curcumin. In a study published in the journal Archives of Toxicology, researchers found that curcumin showed significant liver protection against aflatoxin-induced oxidative liver damage.
- Cocoa. According to a 2012 study in Food and Chemical Toxicology, a polyphenol-enriched cocoa extract was able to reduce free radicals produced by mycotoxins. The study suggests that enjoying a little dark chocolate may offer beneficial antioxidants in response to mold toxin exposure.
- Glutathione. Mycotoxins deplete the body of enzymes that make glutathione — a key antioxidant for reversing free radical damage and removing toxins from the body. Supplementing with glutathione can help with repletion. It supports the body’s detoxification system, provides antioxidant protection, and supports mitochondrial resistance to free radical damage.
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